Petroleum Engineers are people who love to explore, plan and who
thrive on getting the job done. Finding oil and gas reserves is the
focus of work for these professionals. They also evaluate the
potential of basins, plan and oversee drilling, and find ways to
optimize production - all while ensuring economicviability.
Imagine planning, designing and implementing the technical side
of drilling a well. Perhaps your role is to extend the life of
reservoirs, fields and wells using enhanced recovery techniques.
You may choose to specialize in sophisticated computer modeling,
new technologies, or statistics and probability analysis to
accomplish this challenging work.
Do you have a keen interest in what goes on beneath the earth's
surface? Are you fascinated by the laws of mathematics, physics and
chemistry? Do you have strong organizational skills? If so, you'll
want to consider a career as a Petroleum Engineer!
What does a Petroleum Engineer do?
Petroleum Engineers provide specialty expertise
in oil and gas drilling, reservoir management and production. Roles
vary depending on the operating environment (e.g., land or
offshore) and the company. Specialties include:
- Drilling and Completion
Engineers: Plan, design and implement drilling and
completion programs for all types of wells. They ensure safety and
economics are taken into account.
- Reservoir Engineers:
Conduct simulation studies to determine optimal development plans
for oil and gas reservoirs. Their plans may include overall field
development, well placement, proper production and injection rates,
and enhanced oil recovery techniques.
Engineers: Analyze, interpret, and optimize the
performance of individual wells. Design 'connections' between the
reservoir and the well. They evaluate artificial lift methods and
develop surface equipment systems to separate oil, gas, and
How do I become a Petroleum Engineer?
Petroleum Engineers need an engineering degree from an
accredited college or university. A Bachelor of Science degree in
Petroleum Engineering or Petroleum Systems Engineering is
You will also need a license to practice as an engineer.
Provincial engineering associations are responsible for
administering and issuing licenses. For more specific information
about engineering qualifications and professional certifications,
check out the following website: www.engineerscanada.ca.
Information for foreign-trained engineers is provided on the
Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website
What are the working conditions like?
Most Petroleum Engineers perform their work indoors in office
settings and make trips to the field during critical events such as
troubleshooting. Safety protocols are taken very seriously while
working in the field.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a
- I have a natural curiosity about the
world and have a knack for figuringout how things work.
- I am interested in geology, applied
mathematics, physics and chemistry.q I like to build new things and
enjoy making improvements.
- I am creative, imaginative and
consider myself an idea person.
- I can apply critical thinking and
enjoy problem solving.
- I can successfully manage a project
from start to finish.
- I have an aptitude for using
specialized computer software.
- I am good at clearly explaining
technical things to others.
- I consider myself a great team-player
- I am able to easily build personal and professional
- Safety is important to me and I'm
committed to following and adhering to all safety
- I am interested in pursuing a
university education that may require at least four or more years
- I think a career as a Petroleum
Engineer is exciting and I'm up for the challenge and
Quick tips and next steps!
- Choose a university that offers co-op
engineering programs. These programs combineacademic classes with
practical work experience.
- Browse the information for students
on the Association of Professional Engineers andGeoscientists of
B.C. website at www.apeg.bc.ca.
- Review Engineering Your Future -
a Career Planning Guide in Engineering at www.apegga.ca.
- Check out the P-Eng website for
helpful information, including Frequently Asked Questions at www.peng.ca.
- Review the career and educational
resources on the Society for Petroleum Engineers'website at www.energy4me.org.
- Participate in National Engineering
Month (www.new-sng.com) and
National Science andTechnology Week (www.cctt.ca).
- Review Drilling an Offshore Well
in Atlantic Canada' and Producing Oil and Gas Offshorein
Atlantic Canada, published by the Canadian Association of
Petroleum Producers (CAPP)at www.capp.ca.
- Learn how natural gas is extracted,
produced and transformed into the product used in your home at www.naturalgas.org.
- Get a summer job that will expose you
to drilling, reservoir or production operations.
Want more info?
For information on other industry occupations check out